The Director-General of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Victoria Akai has said that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) should support the creation of decent jobs, reduce inequality and promote sustainable inclusive development across the continent.
Akai was speaking at the Luncheon organised by the Nigerian Private Sector Alliance (NIPSA) Women in Abuja recently.
She said AfCFTA presents major opportunities for African countries to raise income and bring millions of people out of extreme poverty.
She also stated that the poverty indices in Africa show that women and youth are the most vulnerable, hence women and the young must continue to have a significant role in trade in the continent, to be able to deliver on the potential.
She also noted that their role will be essential to the continents success in leveraging the full potential of AfCFTA.
Also speaking, the National Vice President, of the Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASMEs) Engr Lawal Ibrahim noted that there needs to be a change in the way Nigeria’s institutions work stressing that it is not competitive.
“We have to change our attitude of our institutional work in such a way that our institutions will be competitive. Nigerians as individuals are competitive all over the world, succeeded all over the world but our institutions need to be strengthened to be able to be competitive” he said.
Also speaking, Acting Director General, Trade Negotiator, Nigeria, Victor Liman, stressed the importance of including women in policy making, and also mainstreaming them into in international Trade.
He emphasized that women must be encouraged, carried along and also protected to be able to actively take part in international trade without any form of barriers.
On her part, the President/Founder AWIA, Ruth Agbo said Nigeria must position itself strategically to make the women come on board and be relevant in the AfCFTA.
“We need total representation. And nothing for us without us, so the Nigerian woman wants to be relevant in the African Continental when it comes to trade and also when it comes to our goods and services” she said.